Editor: Article is an interesting history however it does not mention the fact that executive orders, outside of administrative house keeping within the Executive Branch have no constitutional authority to be carry the force of law. The Constitution is quite clear that only CONGRESS makes laws. Anything we passively permit as law when it is not in pursuance to the Constitution is called a usurpation, an illegal use of un-delegated power. The longer we allow this abuse of power the more difficult it becomes to correct.
U.S. Constitution Article 1 Section 1
It’s an easy mistake to make. After all, Abraham Lincoln did issue the Emancipation Proclamation. However, far from an executive order eradicating the institution of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation was a military order executed under martial circumstances.
It was an effort to rob the rebels of resources. After the war, he and Republicans endeavored to legally eradicate slavery by means on a constitutional amendment- the 13th Amendment.
Even by generous readings of constitutional law, the legal justification for Lincoln’s order was dubious. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a humane thing to do; it just was not, however, a humanitarian-derived effort where moral justification prompted legal action. It was a military order… and only a quasi-legal one at best.
How does that compare to President/Emperor Obama’s executive orders? In short: it doesn’t.
President Obama has not yet suspended Habeas Corpus. We are not struggling under the weight of a full-scale rebellion and any powers he has a Commander-in-Chief does not grant him the power of unilateral law creation.
His executive amnesty order is not merely illegal; it’s treasonous and bereft of any semblance of legal justification. Lincoln’s order could be seen as having a legal justification as a wartime measure. But simply shredding laws one does not like during peacetime? Such a treasonous act would make the benevolent-yet-tyrannical Lincoln shudder.
And Obama’s anti-Second Amendment executive actions? Not only are they in diametric opposition to the enlightenment principles upon which our Bill of Rights is founded, but the formation of law by an executive (again, during peacetime) is incompatible with our republic.
Still, don’t tell Maya Rhodan at TIME Magazine this…
The once-relevant magazine made a comparison on January 18th, 2016, that discussed Obama’s treasonous orders with that of past executives who stretched the bounds of the executive branch.
IMMIGRATION REFORM After Congress failed to pass a comprehensive bill, Obama directed his Administration in 2014 to grant temporary legal status and work permits to over 4 million undocumented immigrants who are the parents of legal residents.
Status: stalled. A judge issued an injunction on the order while most Republican-led states challenge it in court.
MILITARY DESEGREGATION After Southern Senators threatened to filibuster related bills, President Harry Truman on July 26, 1948, signed Executive Order 9981, which banned segregation in the U.S. armed forces.
Status: successful. Although the military initially resisted the change, it was mostly integrated by the end of the Korean War.
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY In direct defiance of the Confederate States, President Lincoln issued an order on Jan. 1, 1863, that emancipated slaves in the rebel territories and allowed blacks to serve alongside Union forces.
Status: successful. The move served as a prequel to eventual abolishment of slavery in the U.S.
No matter how one feels about the proposed idea, our laws must derive from the legislative branch and our executive must be willing…